Out of Focus

I love making people gifts, do you? I like the time it takes to make them. I spend the time thinking about them and praying for them. It’s special.

I also hate making gifts. I spend the time worry about whether it will turn out right, whether they will like it, and wondering if I’ve wasted all these hours because they won’t like it and it won’t turn out right.

Nothing I have ever made has turned out perfectly. I try, but there is always some flaw or another. And I’m always foolish enough to point out the flaws as I apologetically give the gift. Do you know what the receivers always say?

“Oh, I wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t said anything.”

Or just…

“It’s perfect!”

They don’t see the flaws. They see the good. They see the time and the love that was put into making it.

I’m constantly amazed at how much my kids love me. I feel like I have failed them so many times. How many times have I snapped at them unnecessarily because I was preoccupied with my own problems? How many times have I lost patience with them?

And yet, if they have only been away from me for as long as a midwife appointment, I am greeted with joyful shouts of “Mommy!” and them running at me with open arms. They are so happy to see me. They make it seem like I am the best mother in the world.

My kids don’t focus on my flaws. They don’t focus on my mistakes. Yes they are hurt by them, but they only see the flaws as a small part of me. They look at me and think of someone who loves and cares for them. Someone who kisses their boo boos and defends them when a sibling wrongs them. They think of the yummy meals I’ve made them and the special activities we have fun doing together. They see the good that far outweighs the mistakes.

I need to shift my focus. I need to look at the whole picture, not the tiny mistakes. Of course correcting our mistakes and trying not to repeat them is a healthy part of life, but if we obsess over the mistakes we miss the good.

So when I look at this crochet doll I made for a friend’s daughter, I’m going to make myself focus on the pretty colors I chose and the hours that the little girl will probably enjoy playing with her. I’m not going to focus on the fact that her eyes aren’t symmetrical (I stink at symmetry, and that’s OK). I’m excited to give it to her.

Have a good day, mamas!



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